Your premise doesn’t hold up. And your “fanboy” bigotry is TIRED.
Even though Apple makes incremental improvements every year, these are 2-year-lifespan devices. most people buy every other model. They get a huge number of functional improvements when they upgrade, and it costs very little.
There was no GSM 3G network in the US in 2007 when the US-only original iPhone shipped. It would have been a waste to include 3G. The Apple/AT&T agreement caused that 3G network to be built for future phones. Adding 3G and GPS the next year for a worldwide release was eminently practical, but it did not make me upgrade my 2-year-lifespan original iPhone until 3GS, which for a very low cost (sold my original 8GB for $210, bought 3GS 32GB for $299) gave me 2x speed, 2x memory, 4x storage, 3G, GPS, auto-focus camera, camcorder, voice control, and more. Plenty to upgrade for. And by then the 3G network in the US had been built out for 2 years, including 1 year of iPhone 3G, so I got great 3G everywhere.
The same on the Mac: the Mac has a 3-year-lifespan (1 year warranty plus 2 additional years of AppleCare) and they ship an upgrade every 8 months or so, so you only buy every 5th model. The first upgrade after your model may only have 2x the memory and 1.5x the storage, but 36 months later you buy a replacement machine that is improved in every way. MacBook Pro 13-inch buyers right now are getting Unibody, chiclet keyboard, 4x the memory, 2x the storage, LED backlighting, higher resolutions, improved MagSafe, 2-3x the battery life, updated OS, faster busses, faster Bluetooth, updated iLife, and even lower price point over their 13-inch notebook purchase 3 years ago.
I don’t know how you argue with Apple’s success when so much tech just sucks. So many empty promises, so much “coming soon” that never does. I think the premise of Matt’s article is spot on and Apple is a great example of just relentlessly improving your product and MERCILESSLY shipping those improvements. Everyone at Apple is waking and sleeping on that clock, they know they have to ship again soon, they are improving and shipping like taking steps left, right, then left, right, making steady progress.
Seth Godin, linked to Matt Mullenweg’s 1.0 is the Loneliest Number. SHIP IT BABY! Get stuff out. Don’t get caught in the 1 more thing trap.